Spiritual Gifts and a Christ-centered Perspective

March 1, 2022

What a wonderful thought it is that Christ, through the Spirit has given each member of the church a spiritual gift.  I hope that you are excited about using your gift for the common good of the church.  I hope you are excited about where the Lord will take us as His body as we exercise His gifts.  I hope you are excited about the spiritual growth that God will cause among us as we faithfully use the gifts He has graciously given.

It is good for us to be aware of the spiritual gifts God has given to the church and it is good to be excited about using those gifts.  But in all of this, we must also make sure that we keep the proper focus and perspective.  Spiritual gifts and the exercise of those gifts should never be about us.  It is important to remember that fact.  To think, “Look at us!”, “Look at what we are accomplishing through the Spirit!”, or “Look at the marvelous thing God is accomplishing through us!” is to have the wrong focus; a dangerous focus. 

Our focus should not be on ourselves as we exercise our gifts, but on Christ.  The Spirit of God’s focus is always on Christ!  As Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify Me…” (John 16:14a, NASB).  The Spirit’s role and desire is to glorify the Lord Jesus.  That should be our goal and desire, too!  As we use our gifts, we should never point to ourselves, but always to Christ. 

Our focus should not be on ourselves as we exercise our gifts, but on serving and building up others in love.  As Paul writes, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NASB).  Paul also says, “So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12, NASB).  Our gifts are never to be used for self-promotion (this was a major problem in the Corinthian church).  Rather, they are to be selflessly used for the good of the whole, and to build up (edify) one another.              

May each one of us zealously use the gifts God has given us through His Spirit, and let us be careful to keep a humble, service-minded, Christ-glorifying focus as we do. 

—Scott Colvin

Gracious Gifts from Heaven

February 22, 2022

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NASB)

Are you aware that if you are in Christ—and therefore part of His church—you have been graced with a gift from heaven?  Notice in the above passage that there is no question about this truth.  “As each one has received a special gift…” Each member of the Lord’s church has received a spiritual gift from Christ, including you!  This is not something you have earned; it is a gift!

What are we to do with the gifts Christ has given us?  First, notice that Peter says we are to use them in serving one another.  They are to be used to help and build up the body of Christ.  Second, notice that God expects us to be good stewards of His gracious gifts.  That means that we need to be using whatever gift He has blessed us with!  To bury our gift in the sand is to be a poor steward of His grace.  Finally, note that we are to use our gifts to glorify God.  Our gifts are not to be used in a self-glorifying or self-promoting way.  We are never to boast in our gifts or to think of ourselves as superior in any way.  Whatever talents or abilities we have were freely bestowed upon us by the Lord, and it is all because of His grace!  Our gifts have nothing to do with our own goodness, power, skill, or any such thing.

Have you given any thought about what spiritual gift the Lord has given you?    There are many examples of spiritual gifts that we can find in scripture.  In the above passage, we see that speaking and serving are gifts from God.  In other passages we see that wisdom, knowledge, faith, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy are examples of spiritual gifts (see Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-10). 

What is your gift from God?  In what ways are you using it?  As each of us use our gift to serve others for His glory, God will bless us, fill us, and cause the church to grow.  May each of us take part in the work God is trying to accomplish in us!

—Scott Colvin

Good Gifts

December 21, 2018

Giving gifts doesn’t necessarily come naturally. We give because we have first received. Gift giving means that we have learned to overcome selfish desires and greed. Gift giving means that we have learned to love, honor, and appreciate others. Good gift giving comes from being considerate of other people’s needs, wants, and desires. In gift giving we learn the joy of service — it is more blessed to give than to receive. I suspect that just as we love because God first love us, we give because God has richly given to us.

James describes God as the perfect giver of gifts.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17, ESV)

What good gifts have you received?

God is our creator, and he has created a world that is very good, even though it has been cursed because of sin. It is a world that is full of beauty and wonder. It is a world that teems with life. I have enjoyed sunrises and sunsets that were magnificently beautiful. I have felt the awe of storms. I have felt the peace of blue skies and sunshine under the green canopy of trees. I have tasted the bounty of the earth, and I have gazed into the night sky with wonder. I have received good gifts.

God has revealed himself in the Bible. I have received the gift of wisdom that begins with reverence for God and humbly listens to his word. In the Bible I find a message that fills a void in my life. It is as if it is a missing puzzle piece that fills that hole and makes the puzzle complete. Now the world, and life, and values, and meaning make sense. I have received a good gift.

God has given his Son. The Word who knew the glories of heaven became flesh and dwelt among. He became human to save us from our sin. He learned suffering. He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. He died in our place, so that we might have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. I have received a good gift — a priceless and precious gift.

Love and gratitude should be the responses to good gifts. May we experience joy because with grateful hearts we recognize the gifts we have received. May we also learn to be like our heavenly Father and grow as givers of good gifts.